Talking with conviction: Deborah Meadon’s guide

Deborah Meaden says that the ability to spot somebody who can deliver with conviction is crucial, both in her day job as an entrepreneur and her TV role in Dragons’ Den.
“Find the thing that you are passionate about,” Deborah told us: “Automatically you’ll deliver it with conviction. You believe, they’ll believe it”.
Even the best speakers shortchange their audience if they’re not delivering with conviction.
Deborah’s seen great speakers disappointingly speaking by numbers: “They were speaking very well… but I didn’t come away thinking- ‘I’m going to do something now'”.
Perhaps that’s the hallmark of a truly believable speech?

Train to Gain: It pays to develop the skills of your workforce

One of the most effective funding initiatives by the Government is to help you increase the skill levels of your employees. You are encouraged to review your company’s strategy and ensure that all staff development and training will effectively support your business objectives. Then you need to specify the actions required to develop the strategy through an organisation and development plan agreed with your staff.

Is your business Britain’s best?

Business Matters is pleased to announce that we have partnered with one of the UK’s most exciting small business competitions of 2009. The Pitch will see entrepreneurs and small business owners from all over the nation competing to win a massive £50,000 of business related goods and services.

Pitching their idea to a panel of top industry experts, entrants will be asked to demonstrate the innovation, market knowledge, customer engagement and financial viability of their business. The contest kicks off in June with heats in Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London, followed by a grand final later in the year. The Pitch promises to offer a real taste of how resourceful UK entrepreneurs are reacting to current economic conditions, bucking the downturn with innovation and creativity.

Embracing the Olympic dream

Whilst watching the recent episode of The Apprentice we were struck by the use of The Olympics and London 2012 branding so we spoke to John Mackenzie, partner of leading IP solicitors Pinsent Masons for his advice of how to embrace the Olympic spirit without falling foul of the law.

The do’s and dont’s of workplace humour

We spend a lot of time at work. For many people they spend more time with their colleagues than they do with their family and friends. In these circumstances, it is only natural that as the working relationship evolves, the environment develops in such a way that people can find opportunities to let off steam by laughing and joking with each other.

Many employers actively encourage employees to find ways to make their work fun because, lets face it, a happy employee is more productive and none of us want to spend the day with a lot of miserable people.

SpinVox CEO & co-founder Christina Domecq named as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

The Award was presented at a gala reception in London by CNBC, in partnership with the Financial Times, to honour those CEOs who are making a difference through leadership and innovation in their industry sectors.

Initial nominations where made by CEOs from European companies in the FT Global 500, whilst the final winners were decided by a panel that consisted of EBLA 2008 winners from companies such as Arcelor Mittal, Autonomy, Fiat and GE, plus representatives from CNBC, the Financial Times and IMD business school.

Green today gone tomorrow

It’s a special occasion and you’ve decided to spend your hard-earned cash on a hot air balloon ride for you and your true love. As you float through the sky without a care in the world, you feel calm, entirely protected by the glorified wicker basket which holds you aloft. It’s a picture of romantic bliss, complete with chocolates, strawberries and a bottle of Dom Pérignon chilling in a bucket for later. But whatever you do, don’t look down!

Happy New Year…?

To say that the markets have been turbulent in 2008 would be a complete understatement and the prospects for 2009 seem much the same. My prognosis is that while the markets may drop further, though providing a three to five year horizon is anticipated, this will look a good time to invest in hindsight.

Do Customer’s Respond the way you would Like?

What happens when you ask for directions? You interrupt someone, stopping them from going about their business, yet people are rarely rude. This is because of the way we ask. We will normally say, ‘Excuse Me’ in a slightly deferential way. We continue, ‘I wonder if you can help me? Could you tell me where Bromley Place is?’

How to survive in 2009

With the recession predicted to last for the whole of 2009, many of us will come back to the office in the New Year, with some trepidation. However, with the right mechanisms in place, it will still be possible to find the opportunities that are out there and prosper.